Govt asked to stop cash collection in check-gates, highways

Govt asked to stop cash collection in  check-gates, highways
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GST covers all taxes: NVCO, KDTO&DU

Dimapur, September 15: The Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organization (NVCO) and the Kohima District Truck Owners and Drivers’ Union (KDTO&DU) have come down heavily against illegal collection of cash at check-gates and on highways by different organizations, including Nagaland police, and have called for dismantling of all check-gates.
“In order to successfully execute the orders Nagaland Police at the check-gates are to sacrifice their highest earning so as to stop others and to completely stop the practices of illegal collection of cash… The check-gate posting considered to be lucrative by the Nagaland Police has to be dismantled,” it said.
In a press release, the two organizations reminded that the GST (Goods and Services Tax) regime in place in the State covers all taxes, and made it clear that it is the sole duty of the State Government to ensure that no illegal collection takes place in check gates or highways in the State.
Extending support to the Public Action Committee (PAC) of Naga Council Dimapur in their fight against illegal collection of cash at check-gates and on highways from September 16, the NVCO and KDTO&DU were of the view that illegal collections of cash at check-gates and on highways is the main cause of price-rise in all essential and non-essential commodities in the State capital.
The two organizations stated that Nagaland is a State mushrooming with illegal collections of cash by police/ unions/ associations/ federations/ police/ public organizations/ Government departments at the check gates and on highways, which contribute to price-rise in the State and Dimapur, the so called commercial hub of the State.
“Many trucks coming from outside refused to enter Nagaland because of the forcible collection of ‘taxes’ at various-gates lying on national/state highways and there are numerous collection points at every conceivable corner in Dimapur including the authorized and unauthorized DMC toll tax counters where truck drivers are stopped and compelled to pay some amount. All these have only added to the cost of various items and the biggest loser of all is the end user, the poor and helpless consumer,” it said.
The release said the NVCO had earlier submitted a representation to the Nagaland Chief Secretary to execute the common judgment & order dated 3.06.2014 passed by the Gauhati High Court, Kohima Bench as well as the Government standing order dated 22nd June 2009 issued by the Chief Secretary to completely stop the illegal collection of cash at the check-gates and on any part of the highway.
The NVCO had asked the Chief Secretary to issue necessary directions to the Deputy Commissioner of all the districts in Nagaland to effectively enforce and execute the judgment & order dated 3.06.2014 passed by the Gauhati High Court, Kohima Bench which did not allow several unions/ associations/ federations from collecting cash/contribution at check-gates and on any national/state highways and also not to establish office/sub-office/pay-counter/information centre on any highways.
The order issued by the Chief Secretary dated Kohima 22nd June 2009 banned collection of cash/taxes made by any organization or individual including Government departments such as police, excise, forest and taxes departments etc. in check-gate or in any part of the highway.
“Passing orders is easier than enforcing it,” it rued while pointing out that certain exercises were carried out like lifting up check gates, issuing several orders, calling chakka jam, bandh and even to extent of dismantling several check-gates in Kohima district. But this did not act as a remedy as tax collections including collection of cash by Nagaland police in all the check gates, several exorbitant toll taxes collected by municipal and town council in all the districts and several organizations including Government agencies on highways continues with impunity, it said.
Stating that there is rampant collection of cash in check gates along inter-state border areas, the release revealed that just within a range of 20-25kms between Khuzama police check-gate to Kohima bye-pass police check-gate on national highway-29 there are more than seven pay-counters including pay-counters initiated by Manipur vehicle/truck/oil tankers owners/drivers, public organization at Phesama check-gate, KMC toll tax collection counter “of which the tax-payers are never provided with any services, etc.”
The NVCO also termed the unabated taxation and illegal collection of cash at check gates, highways, markets and deduction of percentage by way of commission from public funds/contractor bill such as in the name of “Party Fund”, toll tax collection without providing any services to the tax payers, illegal dealership and syndicate system, yearly tax on property/machineries/vehicles, funds-raise by way of going for asking donation, selling lottery ticket/newspaper/calendar /buffet ticket/packed lunch/meat/moudi, etc from well-wishers as “extortion”.
(Page News Service)